Wal-Mart isn't what Liberty Road needs

May 24, 2010

The thrust of The Sun's editorial and the approach of public officials for decades for improving Liberty Road and other secondary roads with aging retail areas has been to treat the problems as economic development issues ("Life on Liberty Road," May 23). The solutions have been to update failing areas with new buildings without dealing with the core problems. People need to be connected to their neighborhoods.

Suburban Baltimore County communities were built around the love affair with the car. They became commuting communities. If the neighborhood does not have what you need, you drive elsewhere. The editorial correctly identified people's disconnect with Liberty Road in reporting the overwhelming support for a community center. Community centers are great, but there needs to be additional changes. For example, instead of a new Home Depot and Wal-Mart, why not mixed use residential business complexes where people can walk to work and play? (Less traffic on Liberty Road!)

My apology to my former constituents. I and the other officials failed to see the problem coming. Hopefully the officials see the problem and have imaginative approaches.

Theodore Levin, Pikesville

The writer is a former member of the House of Delegates.

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